COVID-19 Updates: What to Expect During Your California Visit

To say that the COVID-19 coronavirus has impacted travel would be an understatement. “Flattening the curve” has meant adjusting to a new normal. Those of us in the hospitality industry are particularly concerned with observing improved safety protocols in order to assure our guests of their safety. 

As we all do our part to help slow the spread, it’s important to stay on top of the latest recommendations and guidelines. In light of that, here’s some of what you should expect on your visit to California during this crisis. 

Select Businesses Are Open

California is a state with much to offer visitors, from beautiful public spaces to world-class theme parks and no end of stunning coastline. Because of the prevalence of tourism in the state, the phased reopening of California has gone through several stages due to rising or falling numbers in certain areas. 

As of August 1, 2020, the following are closed throughout California:

  • Dine-in restaurants
  • Wineries and tasting rooms
  • Movie theaters 
  • Family entertainment centers (for example: bowling alleys, miniature golf, batting cages, and arcades)
  • Zoos and museums
  • Cardrooms

The good news is that restaurants with outdoor seating are open, as well as bars, brewpubs, breweries, and pubs that offer outdoor seating. And with the Southern California weather, why wouldn’t you eat outside? Our beautiful sunny beaches are open, as well — so be sure to pack sunscreen, your swimsuit, sunglasses, and a beach towel. Also: if you plan to visit an area, city, or attraction, it is likely best to first search online to make note of which may be ready to receive visitors, and which may still be unable to operate at full capacity. The State of California’s COVID-19 information site is always a great place to start.

Mask Mandate

The science is in, and the conclusions are clear: Face masks are our best bet for controlling the rampant transmission of COVID-19. As such, California Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a statewide mask mandate. Individuals in public not wearing masks are subject to citation and possible fines. Make sure you pack a comfortable, quality face covering to bring with you. A mask is a simple way for us all to protect each other.

Social Distancing

In addition to wearing face masks, it’s also important that we increase space between ourselves and others. Many businesses have convenient markings on the floor for areas where lines form, and most restaurants have increased the distance between tables. Even in areas where these safety measures are not clearly delineated, it’s nonetheless a good idea to stay at least six feet away from others whenever and wherever possible.  

Hygienic Hands

The California Department of Public Health is in agreement with the federal guidelines for safety. This includes recommending 20 seconds’ worth of thorough handwashing with soap and hot water as often as possible. Many businesses and public spaces in California have also supplied hand sanitizer for public use. The general rule is: If you touch a surface, it’s best to wash or sanitize your hands as soon as possible and avoid touching your face in the interim. 

Improved Sanitation

We’re doing our part at Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina to ensure guest safety and exceed hospitality-industry best practices for sanitation. Not only have we improved our already-stringent standards for cleanliness in all guest rooms, but we’ve also taken several additional steps to help protect you. Furniture has been appropriately distanced, common areas and high-traffic zones are regularly disinfected, and our breakfast service has undergone a revision to improve space between tables, as well as increased cleanliness in all food service and prep areas. Masks are required onsite when inside buildings, and within 6 feet of another guest or team member. Our outdoor patio areas are open, as are our pools. However, the hot tubs remain closed.

As always, our #1 commitment is to your safety — so you can visit with confidence. If you’d like to know more, please visit our COVID-19 Information Page.